The first week of this plan has not been anywhere near as hard as you’d imagine. If you’ve ever tried dieting or giving something up for lent, you’ll know that that first week is spent avoiding whatever it is you’ve given up and, depending how dedicated you are, justifying small cheats. This was different. There’s nothing that I’ve missed and it hasn’t been hard to say no to anything yet. I went out to dinner on day 3 and had chicken with sweet potatoes and salad (SALAD!! I’ve NEVER ordered a salad in a restaurant!) and it was good! I then had people round for dinner on day 4 and served them lentil bake with sweet potato mash and for dessert I put apples, bananas and pears in the oven with some dark chocolate, honey and coconut oil. It was lovely! And at no point did I miss wine. I guess one small slip was cake club at work on Friday afternoon. I did go and I did have cake and you know what, I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I had a small amount, binned the rest and left early. That was also as I still had a tonne of work to do in the afternoon though. So it’s been surprisingly easy to stick to this and it’s not taking the huge amount of will-power I had expected it to.
On day 3, my supplements arrived.
There are 2 packets of protein powder (the big ones) in Chocolate and Vanilla flavours, 1 packet of Fibre Boost, 1 tub of Greens (this smells suspiciously vegetabley…), 2 boxes of herbal tea with Dandelion root, peppermint leaf, parsley, elder flower, fennel fruit and liquorice root, 1 tub of omega 3 capsules and one box of digestions plus, which is basically a powder of enzymes such as proteases, peptidases, amylase, invertase, maltase, etc.
So, as well as the morning blend “tea” that I make with the spice mix, lemon, honey and apple cider vinegar, I have one herbal tea a day too. This can be mid morning or in the evening. Now, I don’t like fennel or liquorice, but you don’t taste them so don’t let that put you off. The strongest flavour is probably the peppermint, but even then, it’s a nice, subtle tea and very easy to drink.
Everything else goes into a shake that I had for breakfast. One scoop of protein, so far I’ve been using the chocolate one, one scoop of the Greens, one scoop of the fibre boost and one sachet of the digestion plus. I blended this together with hazelnut milk and it was actually really nice! I was suspicious of it as it was very green:
But it tasted mostly of chocolate milkshake and not so much of the vegetables. The digestion plus enzymes are for breaking down your food (protease degrades proteins, peptidase degrades peptones, etc.) so that it’s easier for your body to then digest the food as it doesn’t have to take energy breaking it down.
The omega 3 capsules are to be taken with a meal, 2 capsules a day.
This is not so difficult to stick to. I’ve seen other schemes like Juice+ where you have to take 6 huge capsules with a tonne of water in the morning and then again at night. This is something that I’ve found I just don’t stick to. It feels like a lot of effort and I forget half way through or I get bored with it. With this, it actually fits really well into my lifestyle. The shakes for breakfast make my life easier as I don’t tend to have breakfast anyway. I get up and head out to the gym or to work and don’t feel like eating at that point. If I do have breakfast, it’s forced down on principle, but the shake I can make and in the blender in 2 minutes and then take it with me and have it when I’m ready. As it’s all powders, I can make them in advance and store daily portions of it just to grab in the morning. When I made fruit smoothies for breakfast, this had to be done every day as the fruit wouldn’t last once you blend it. The blending process oxygenates the fruit and causes it to begin to rot from that point, which is advanced by the heat created when the blade spins, so you can’t keep it longer than overnight. I even tried freezing them, but I didn’t have much success with that either. This could be the answer to my breakfast problems!
The conclusion of week one is that my cold is pretty much gone and I’m starting to feel like a functioning person again. I did try to go for a run on day 2, but I made it one km and it hurt to breathe so badly that I didn’t get much further. I went again on day 7 and this was better. I still only made it half way through my run before I was wheezing and stopped, but improvement is being made. I don’t look or feel like I’ve lost any weight, but I also wouldn’t expect to in week 1. These things tend to run a week behind so I’l update that next week. Generally, it’s been a good week settling into my new parameters and I really think this is something I can stick to and enjoy.
This week has been moderately successful. I didn’t have my spiced tea every day as I managed to lose my cup only to discover that I had left it at work. I also missed my shake on Friday morning as I had run out of hazelnut milk. But the main slip was Thursday, day 11. We had pizza.
This breaks so many rules, but mainly it fails my no dairy effort. However! Some good did come of this. Pizza has been my weakness after my no dairy decision, I didn’t enjoy this one at all. I felt swollen and bloated and uncomfortable after it for the whole rest of the night and (WARNING: possibility of over-sharing about to happen) the first 10 full minutes of the next day were spent on the toilet… I’m pretty sure that was my last ever pizza.
Other than this, though, it’s been pretty easy following the guidelines. I’m really enjoying having the shake for breakfast and it tastes so good! I can see this being a long term addition to my daily habits. One other big change that hasn’t been as difficult as I expected was cutting out the carbohydrates I’d usually have with my dinner. As I mentioned in the introduction, we can’t have potatoes, rice or pasta and these are staples for me. I’d have mash potatoes or rice with my meat or else a pasta dish as a meal. This has had to be swapped for sweet potatoes, which I have recently discovered I really like, or salad. Tonight’s accompaniment was just iceberg lettuce and carrot sticks with houmous and it was enough. The other night I made a salad with eggs, lettuce, apple and cucumber and a dressing from half a lemon, a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar along with some honey and plain, dairy-free yoghurt. That was even pretty yummy!
As for other benefits, I haven’t felt like I have a cold for at least a week now and on day 11 I FINALLY made it through a full run without having to stop because I couldn’t breathe. I even did it again on day 14 (today) with a gradient so I’m definitely close to being back at full health for the first time in over a month!
So at the half way point, lets take have a look at some definitive results:
Day 1: Legs = 55cm, 22inch; Hips = 85cm, 33.5inch; Waist = 78cm, 31inch; Arms = 29cm, 11.5inch. Weight = 55.5kg
Day 14: Legs = 55cm, 22inch; Hips = 81cm, 31inch; Waist = 72cm, 28inch; Arms = 28cm, 11inch. Weight = 54.5kg
Stay tuned for the conclusion in the next post! Subscribe below to get notification of when it comes out.